Wednesday, March 25, 2015

India: Study on mobile radiation begins

Paul Doyon's (EMF Refugee) Comments:

"The committee pointed to research which claimed that disappearance of butterflies, bees, insects and sparrows from big cities had been due to radiation from mobile phone towers."

Back in late 2006, after being made extremely sick in Japan from living in the vicinity of several cell towers, I traveled throughout Asia looking for a "better" place to live — and at one point met someone who told me I should go live in Auroville, India, as they had a policy in place of not allowing cell towers on their 20 square kilometers of land.

I did end up living there briefly in the summer of 2008 — but was unfortunately unable to sustain myself financially in this "sustainable community.

Anyway, one thing one notices in Auroville is the extreme abundance of wildlife — especially INSECTS — everywhere.

I had a job possibility in the UAE teaching EFL at a university there and they wanted to do a Video Interview and I needed to go to a video center the city of Chennai (formally Madras) about three hours north of Auroville. I hired a taxi to take me up there and spent several hours driving around trying to find a hotel. I ended up having to settle for a dumpy hotel at approx. $50.00 a night. Anyway, my room did not have air conditioning and there were no screens on the windows. Not one insect — not one mosquito — came into my room in spite of having the windows open all night. Also, I noticed that I could not find any ants on the ground which were so prevalent in Auroville. The city seemed to be completely devoid of insects. There were however plenty of microwave-emitting antennas on top of buildings.

A few years later, in 2010, while back in Japan and working at a university there, I took a trip to Cebu in the Philippines to attend a conference on English teaching and noticed there were also no insects in the city of Cebu.

Across the street from the hotel I was staying at there was a garbage can with garbage strewn all over around it. Yet, there were no ants or flies anywhere near the garbage. There were however like in Chennai, lots of cell phone towers on the buildings throughout the city.

Note: Auroville unfortunately changed its policy on cell towers and the IT people there under the banner of Green Waves is trying to implement a plan to radiate the whole community with low-level microwave radiation.

Joel's comments: Since the Congress ended funding of the Environmental Protection Agency's research on the effects of cell phone radiation in the 1990's, the U.S. government has provided little funding for research on the risks of exposure to cell phone radiation. Yet Federal health agencies keep saying we need more research before taking precautionary measures. It's no wonder that the cities of Boston and Philadelphia have accused the Federal government of a "pass-the-buck attitude" with regard to studying cell phone radiation health effects.

In contrast, some governments, like India (see below) and China, are making significant investments in research on the effects of exposure to cell phone and other wireless radiation.

In the U.S., the one major effort to study mobile phone radiation effects is being conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP).  The laboratory studies on mice and rats examine exposure to frequencies in use in the U.S. centering around 900 megahertz and 1900 megahertz, as well as the two 2G modulations currently used for voice transmission -- CDMA and GSM. Unfortunately, the study has been running way behind schedule. It is likely that by the time the results are published these technologies will be obsolete as cell phone companies in the U.S. are planning to use 4G LTE for voice transmission in the near future. The research on 3G and 4G suggests that these technologies may be even riskier for human health (as well as other species).

Nonetheless, the results of the NTP studies may have theoretical import as GSM (AT&T and T-Mobile) exposure has been more likely to demonstrate harmful bio-effects than CDMA (Verizon and Sprint) exposure in prior laboratory studies.  The results may also have policy implications for nations that are still using 2G technology.

For more information about the National Toxicology Program studies see the NTP web site and Microwave News


India: Study on mobile radiation begins

Durgesh Nandan Jha,Times of India, Mar 25, 2015

NEW DELHI: At least 17 top scientific institutions in the country, including AIIMS and IIT Delhi, have been commissioned by the Union government to address concerns about radiation emitted from mobile phones and phone towers causing illnesses.

Sources said funds ranging from Rs 22 lakh to Rs 2 crore, as demanded, have already been allocated for the research by the department of science and technology.  [Approx. $50,000 to $425,000]

TOI spoke to officials who said the move is aimed to review different aspects of the health impact at the earliest so that action or remedial measures can be taken to save people from potential consequences. The Indian Council of Medical Research is also conducting a study but that is a prospective one and may take longer, said an official.

"The projects awarded to the 17 institutions are to be completed in a maximum of 36 months while the minimum time period is 18 months," a senior official said. He added that local-level research is needed as those conducted abroad may not determine the effect on Indians due to varying climates.

In 2011, an inter-ministerial committee had said mobile phone towers should not be installed near high-density residential areas, schools, playgrounds and hospitals after reviewing then available research some of which held that radiation from mobile phones and towers posed serious health risks, including loss of memory, lack of concentration, disturbance in the digestive system and sleep disturbances. The committee pointed to research which claimed that disappearance of butterflies, bees, insects and sparrows from big cities had been due to radiation from mobile phone towers.

The World Health Organization also labelled exposure to radiation emitted from cellphones as "possibly carcinogenic to humans". However, cellphone operators have been resisting curbs on installing towers saying there is still no evidence on the cause-and-effect relationship between the exposure and health hazard, a fact conceded by many senior scientists.

There is fear among the public who blame exposure to radiation for rising incidence of cancer. Recently, residents in some parts of Noida snapped off power connection to some mobile phone towers. Connectivity was badly affected. "If cellphone towers are targeted without evidence, it will hamper business as well as lead to public inconvenience. We must wait for results of the study before coming to any conclusion," said a cellular operator.
Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director
Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley
Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
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Twitter:                 @berkeleyprc

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